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H.R. 2243 (103rd): Federal Trade Commission Act Amendments of 1994

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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress.


7/21/1994--Conference report filed in House. Federal Trade Commission Act Amendments of 1994 - Amends the Federal Trade Commission Act to deny authority to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to study, investigate, or prosecute agricultural cooperatives for any action not in violation of antitrust Acts, or to study or investigate agricultural marketing orders. (Sec. 3) Repeals the authority of the FTC to pay attorney fees, expert witness fees, and other costs of participating in a rulemaking proceeding. (Sec. 4) Prohibits the FTC from instituting a civil action, in cases involving consent orders, to obtain civil penalties for unfair or deceptive acts or practices. Permits: (1) a district court to review certain FTC determinations of law which find an act or practice unfair or deceptive; (2) the FTC to issue a notice of proposed rulemaking for certain rules only where it has reason to believe that the unfair or deceptive acts or practices are prevalent; and (3) the FTC to issue civil investigative demands for physical evidence. (Sec. 6) Revises the effective dates for cease and desist orders issued by the FTC. (Sec. 9) Requires that an unfair act or practice cause or be likely to cause substantial injury to consumers which is not reasonably avoidable by consumers themselves and not outweighed by countervailing benefits to consumers or to competition. (Sec. 10) Authorizes a district court to: (1) summon any person, partnership, or corporation without regard to whether they reside or transact business in the district in which a suit claiming false advertisement is brought; and (2) serve process in any district. Specifies requirements for the service of process. (Sec. 11) Prohibits the FTC from using any authorized funds for the purpose of submitting statements to, appearing before, or intervening in the proceedings of, any Federal or State agency or legislative body concerning proposed rules or legislation that the agency or legislative body is considering, without notifying specified congressional committees as soon as possible. (Sec. 12) Directs the FTC to: (1) conduct an evaluation of the level of its personnel resources and the manner in which such resources are allocated; and (2) review its statutory responsibilities to identify matters within its jurisdiction where Federal enforcement is particularly necessary or desirable and those areas that might more effectively be enforced at the State or local level. (Sec. 14) Authorizes appropriations for FY 1994 through 1996.